A Bangs man has been charged with the murder of his ex-wife, whose body was found Thursday at the Brownwood landfill, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs said.
Jessie Leon McCord, 45, was arrested Friday morning on a drug charge, and sheriff's officials served him in the Brown County Jail with a first-degree murder warrant late Friday afternoon, Grubbs said.
A complaint alleges that McCord stabbed his ex-wife, Denise Banks, who had been living with a son in Brownwood, Grubbs said. Late Friday, the sheriff’s department said Banks’ age was 59.
Grubbs said investigators think Banks was likely killed at McCord’s home Wednes-day evening. Investigators think her body was placed in a Dumpster and emptied along with the Dumpster’s other contents into a sanitation truck, then transported to the landfill, Grubbs said.
“At this time I can’t speculate on the motive,” Grubbs said. “The investigation is continuing and we’re still gathering information, still making the case come together.”
A landfill worker discovered the body while pushing trash with a dozer, Grubbs said.
The landfill was closed briefly Friday morning, but reopened after a short time.
He said Bangs police found Banks’ abandoned vehicle Wednesday, and went to McCord’s home to try to find her. No one knew at that point that anything had happened to Banks, he said.
Investigators learned about the discovery of her abandoned vehicle, and that led to developing a tentative identification of the victim, Grubbs said, based on evidence at the scene.
He said while investigators are confident the victim is Banks, they are awaiting autopsy results from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office for confirmation of her identity. The sheriff’s department said the medical examiner’s office has tentatively identified the body as Banks, and issued a preliminary cause of death as homicide by stabbing.
First Assistant District Attorney Sam Moss said McCord’s bond was set at $500,000.
Grubbs said the sheriff’s office was assisted by the Brownwood Police, Department, Brownwood Fire Department, City of Brownwood, Texas Rangers and the Bangs Police Department.
“Over 25 officers and employees from these agencies assisted in crime scene searches and management,” Grubbs said in a media release. “The City of Brownwood contributed significantly with equipment and manpower at the initial crime scene. The cooperative efforts of all these agencies contributed greatly to the progress of the investigation.”
The investigation is continuing, Grubbs added, and further details may be available on Monday.